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1. Literally, to slice or carve something. That vegetable has a tough skin, so you'll really need to apply some pressure in order to cut into it.
2. To interrupt a dancing couple in order to change places with one of them (typically the man). In this usage, "cut in" is a set phrase. Oh, don't worry about cutting in—I was tripping all over myself on the dance floor anyway. May I cut in for a dance with this lovely lady?
3. To move ahead of someone or something in line before it is one's turn. The guy from the back of the line totally just cut in front of me!
4. To interrupt someone or something. I'm sorry to cut in, but I have some information that might help. Mom is always using the phone in her office to cut in on my conversations!
5. To join something despite being unwelcome. Ugh, my little brother is always cutting in on my movie nights with my friends.
6. To automatically begin working. With this new thermostat, the heat will cut in once the temperature drops below 70 degrees.
7. To use a cutting motion (typically with two knives) to add an ingredient to a mixture. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "cut" and "in(to)." The next step is to cut the shortening into the mixture.
8. slang To include one in the profits from something, such as a business venture. In this usage, the person being included is typically mentioned between "cut" and "in." Oh, they better cut me in on the deal—I came up with the original concept!
cut someone in (on something)
Sl. to permit someone to share something, such as profits or loot. Max refused to cut in his partner Lefty. We can't cut you in. There's not enough.
cut in(on someone)
1. Lit. [for someone] to ask to replace one member of a dancing couple. Excuse me, may I cut in? Please don't cut in.
2. Fig. [for someone] to interrupt someone who is talking. While Gloria was telling us her story, Tom kept cutting in on her. I'm talking. Please don't cut in!
cut in(on something)
1. Lit. to interrupt something, especially some sort of electronic transmission. I didn't mean to cut in on your announcement. Who cut in on my telephone call?
2. Fig. to join in something even when not invited. Can I cut in on this little party?
(ahead of someone or something) to move quickly and carelessly into line ahead of someone, as in a line of people or in traffic. A red car cut in ahead of me and nearly caused me to run off the road. Careful! Don't cut in ahead of that car!
(with something) to interrupt [someone] with a comment; to speak abruptly, interrupting what someone else is saying. Jimmy cut in with a particularly witty remark. Must you always cut in while others are talking?
cut in(to something)
to slice something; to gouge something. We cut into the watermelon and found it to be spoiled. It was a beautiful apple, but when she cut in, she found out that she had been cheated.
1. Move oneself between others, take a place ahead of one's proper turn. For example, She was very aggressive, always cutting in the cafeteria line. [Early 1600s]
2. Also, cut in on or into . Interrupt a conversation; also, interpose oneself between dancing partners and replace one of them. For example, Before Walter was done talking, Marion cut into his conversation, or Jane was quite pleased when Arthur cut in on their dance. [First half of 1800s]
3. Also, cut in on. Include in a profitable business deal or share of the profit, as in Do you want to be cut in on this deal? or We plan to cut you in on this moneymaker. [Slang; late 1800s]
1. To step into some line in front of others: He cut in the line when he joined his friends. She was late, so I let her cut in.
2. To interrupt someone or something with a comment: During the debate my opponent kept cutting in.
3. To drive into the space between two moving cars, often suddenly and recklessly: I almost ran off the road when that car cut in right in front of me.
4. To interrupt a dancing couple in order to dance with one of them: May I cut in? That guy cut in on me and my partner at the dance. I wanted to finish the dance, but she cut in.
5. To include someone in a plan, especially among those profiting: We'll cut you in if you help us.
6. To become operative automatically: The air conditioning will cut in as soon as the room gets too hot.
7. To mix something in with or as if with cutting motions: Measure out the flour and use a pair of knives to cut the shortening in.
Ask the woman of a dancing couple to dance. Youngsters in this age of couples spending an entire evening dancing only with each other would be surprised to learn that there was a time when they didn't (ask your parents or grandparents). One separation came from the practice of cutting in: an unattached male approached a couple on the dance floor, tapped the man on the shoulder, and asked “Do you mind if I cut in?” Convention required that the male dancer graciously relinquish his place, although if he or the woman would prefer to continue together or the woman didn't want to dance with a certifiable nerd, one or the other might say something like “Thank you, but we're in the middle of a serious conversation.” That was not a valid excuse, however, if the band was playing a jitterbug.